Recognition for Water Work

Four clean-water projects from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have been recognized as Regional Projects of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Water Program.


Bryan Swistock, Penn State Extension water resources specialist, created the regional Master Well Owner Network. The program trained 500 volunteers to educate community members on how to maintain private water systems to improve water quality.

Extension nutrient management specialist in dairy and animal science Virginia Ishler formed the Dairy Feed Management Planner’s Certification Program. Its focus is on certifying consultants in precision-feed management, which reduces nutrient levels in animal waste.

Doug Beegle, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, with Les Lanyon, former professor of soil science and management, developed the Regional Cropland Nutrient Budgets. These budgets indicate soil nutrient loss and its environmental impact. Nitrogen and phosphorus are currently involved in the budgets. 

Educational Efforts on Water Quality Credit Trading Policies was formed by Charles Abdalla, professor of agricultural and environmental economics, and Kristen Saacke Blunk, senior extension associate and director of the Agriculture and Environment Center. This program provides science-based information through publications, workshops, and professional guidance for understanding water quality credit-trading programs.